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Article I, Section 5 of the U.S. Constitution provides that each chamber of Congress "determine the Rules of its Proceedings." These resulting rules and procedures are spelled out in detailed procedural manuals for each chamber.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, the House Committee on Rules publishes the House Rules and Manual during the first session of each Congress. This document is formally entitled Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives and contains each clause of the rules, a summary of recent changes in the House's rules, annotated texts of the Constitution, excerpts from Thomas Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice, and provisions of law that establish procedures for the House to act on congressional disapproval resolutions.

In addition to the House Rules, the Representatives are governed by the ways in which these rules have been interpreted over the years and applied to various kinds of activities. These precedents include an exhaustive compilation of procedural rulings and interpretations, accompanied by summaries of the events producing them and often including relevant excerpts from the Congressional Record.

  • Deschler's Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives identify precedents and practices of the House from 1936-1986. Compilation of volumes 1-9 of this series was initially undertaken by the late House parliamentarian Lewis Deschler. Precedents and practices since 1986 have been published under the title Deschler-Brown Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives, which begins with volume 10. Currently, the series is compiled by parliamentarian emeritus William Holmes Brown.
  • Cannon's Precedents and Hinds' Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives provides an historical overview and in-depth description of House precedents during the period 1789 through 1936. This multivolume series was compiled by two House parliamentarians who later became Congressmen (Clarence A. Cannon, D-MO, and Asher S. Hinds, R-ME).